As a coach who helps small business entrepreneurs and individuals overcome procrastination, I usually hear one of the following two extremes when I talk to people about what I do:
- OMG! I need you! I am so overwhelmed and don’t know how to dig out from the hole I am in.
- Ha! I don’t procrastinate. I am the most productive person you will ever meet.
It seems there is no middle ground. (Most folks I’ve spoken to fall into the first category.)
Before I go on, let me first give you my definition of procrastination:
When you don’t do WHAT needs to be done WHEN it needs to be done.
Many people don’t include the time element in their definition.
I believe that everyone is a procrastinator.
Yes, deniers, I’m talking to you. I help my clients conquer procrastination and become more productive. And, yes, even I procrastinate occasionally. It’s rare but it’s the truth. I’m not a denier.
The truth, deniers!
If you set a task to be done at 10am but you don’t get to it until 2pm, you have procrastinated…even if it didn’t need to be done at 10am. If it didn’t need to be done at 10am, why did you schedule it for then?
Or…if you scheduled time to make sales calls from 11:30-Noon but you go on an extended lunch with a co-worker or friend and so you don’t do your calls until 2:00, you still got them done but not when you scheduled them.
Nobody gets everything they need to get done when it needs to be done every time. It’s impossible.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m NOT saying you are an unproductive person. What I am saying is everyone procrastinates sometimes.
How would you rate yourself on my procrastination scale?
0 – you never experience any hint of procrastination – ever
1 – you procrastinate rarely and only regarding minor things
2 – you get the big stuff done with a possible slight delay but not so much the minor stuff
3 – sometimes you get everything done while other times you procrastinate
4 – you get stuff done but only at the last possible moment
5 – you are debilitated by procrastination – absolutely nothing gets done
Most of my clients fall into the 3 or 4 category…some even rate themselves a solid 5.
What about you?
I would never call you (or anyone else) a liar if you rate yourself a zero, but…
We all have 24 hours in a day – 168 hours in a week.
Most of us are busy (notice I didn’t say ALL? That’s because ALL is a very big – not to mention inclusive – word).
- Life gets in the way. In other words, stuff happens.
- Clients call.
- Clients don’t show up for appointments.
- Technology fails.
- Illness happens.
There will likely be two reactions to this article: most will agree but there will be others who adamantly say they never procrastinate and will strongly say that I am wrong. Dead wrong.